Mrs. Jeanne Schimmelmann has been an integral part of the Intergens community since Lakeshore Intergenerational School opened in 2014. After retiring from her role of 30 years at the Wickliffe Public Library, she began her next chapter volunteering as a Learning Partner at Lakeshore. Even before the school officially opened its doors, Mrs. S. helped establish the school library, using her skills as a librarian and working with staff to stock the shelves with a diverse selection of reading materials. Ever since then, Mrs. S. has volunteered each week, sharing with students not only new books but also a love for reading.
Lakeshore students look forward to their time in the library with Mrs. S. each week, browsing the library’s bookshelves and choosing a new book to check out. They are always excited to share their find with Mrs. S., who staffs the checkout desk and shares the same love of books. Intergenerational friendships like these develop throughout our Learning Partner program, and are a core part of what builds the Intergens community, creating a space for caring adults and students to guide one another in shared learning experiences.
“The best part about it is that children are always excited to come to the library. The best reward is when a student says they love this book. That’s what it’s all about, is connecting children with books.”Mrs. S., Lakeshore Learning Partner
When Mrs. S. is not with students in the library, she works as a curator, discovering new books for all stages and interests to share with the next class that comes in. She also reads one-on-one with students in Ms. Adu-Gyamfi’s Beginning Stage (GLE K-2) class each week, supporting each student with their individual progress towards reading mastery. The experience of sitting side by side, turning the pages of a book and discussing stories with a supportive mentor not only strengthens skills, but also fosters deeper appreciation and interest in reading.
The Intergenerational Schools’ approach encourages students to learn developmentally and in community by following the natural curiosity for the world that is inherent in us all. Our volunteer Learning Partners, who represent a diversity of generations, occupations, life experiences and passions, are a vital source of this encouragement. Across our schools each week, Learning Partners help students build the foundation to take confident steps towards knowledge, skills and practices that most interest them as they develop reading and math mastery. These Intergenerational principles shape the way we learn and grow, guiding our next generation of leaders.
Dedicated Learning Partners like Mrs. S. help make the Intergenerational Schools a special place for students to grow in their own love for learning that reaches far beyond the classroom.
Thank you to Mrs. S. and the many devoted Learning Partners who support our students!
Discover more about our Learning Partner program at https://www.igschools.org/volunteer/